Orecchiette alla Pugliese
· Ready in: 1 hour
· Serves: 6
· 2 packages of Rustichella d’Abruzzo Orecchiette (available at Olio)
· 2 bunches broccoli rabe, carefully washed
· 1/2 cup Olio extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
· 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
· 2 large spicy Italian sausages
· large pinch of red pepper flakes
· Coarse Sea Salt
Step 1 After soaking and carefully washing, separate the stem, leaves and florets from the broccoli rabe.
Step 2 Set a large pot of water to boil. Add a handful of coarse sea-salt. First add the broccoli stems, and boil for at least 15 minutes. Add the leaves, and boil for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, add the florets and boil for another 5 minutes.
Step 3 Remove casing from the sausages. Chop coarsely and cook in a sauté pan over high flame. Cook until crispy. Remove sausage and place over a plate lined with paper towels in order to de-grease completely.
Step 4 In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil with the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes until the garlic is golden, but not brown.
Step 5 Remove the broccoli rabe from the pot and squeeze dry over the water pot to save all the flavors. Do not discard the water: cook the pasta in it for more flavor.
Step 6 Mix the sausage with the garlic olive oil. Add red pepper flakes and mix well.
Step 7 Coarsely chop the cooked broccoli rabe and mix into the sausage mixture. Taste for salt and pepper and correct if necessary.
Step 8 Once the orecchiette are cooked al dente, toss immediately in the broccoli and sausage sauce and mix well. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if necessary.
Step 9 Serve in warm pasta bowls and drizzle with additional Olio olive oil and enjoy. Traditionally, this pasta is not served topped with grated cheese of any kind. —